Mass. pension board settles suit over mine blast

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Associated Press

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 9 at 3:02 PM

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has reached a $265 million settlement with a mining company over allegations that it misrepresented its safety record in an effort to artificially inflate its stock price after a deadly 2010 explosion at a West Virginia mine.

The Pension Reserves Investment Management Board oversees public pension investments in Massachusetts. It was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit brought by investors against Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc.

Alpha was formerly known as Massey Energy Co. Its parent company, Alpha Natural Resources, bought Massey for $7.1 billion in 2011.

A spokesman for Bristol, Va.-based Alpha says the settlement is related to allegations from before Alpha bought Massey. Spokesman Ted Pile says Alpha could have gone to court but decided the prudent thing to do was to resolve it quickly and put it behind the company.

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